Miracle Worker Week ended with a celebration of my daughter’s second birthday. If you have read my blog at all, you know that I dream up elaborate birthday schemes for my kids’ birthdays, often a year or more in advance. Tessa’s birthday was no exception, except that as the birthday got closer, everything changed. And that was OK…
My daughter loves puppies, so I was planning a puppy party, along the lines of this one at Whimsy love, with dog bowls for the kids to eat out of, a cardboard doghouse, bone-shaped breadsticks, and these cute “pup-cakes” my sister made for her daughter one year.
Instead, my daughter ended up having both sets of grandparents in town (and some uncles and aunts), so we had a family dinner for all of them (not sure they wanted to eat out of dog bowls). I thought about doing two separate parties, but keep in mind, we were working on projects for the house all week, and my stamina is really limited right now, so things had to be simplified. I kept asking Tessa about her birthday, and without fail, each time I would say the word “birthday,” she would respond, “I have a birthday cake!” So I knew where her priorities lay.
A while back my Mother-in-law gave me these vintage paper plates and napkins, she had purchased in the 80’s (?) and never used. I thought about selling them, or giving them away, since I had envisioned Dalmatian print with purple accents, but for our different direction, these were perfect (and the girl looks a bit like Tessa). I should mention, lots of things didn’t go as planned, but things end up working out. I had a long white tablecloth from IKEA, that we couldn’t find anywhere. After trying a couple of options, I remembered, we had a bunch of yellow plastic tablecloths hanging out in the garage left over from something related to my husband’s work. Perfect match. Plastic utensils and cups were left over from previous parties.
It took a couple of tries, but I was able to locate Tessa’s birthday banner from last year, which was almost the same color scheme, and I had picked up a package of pink balloons from Walmart the night before, so we were able to have a festive room.
Remember how I said the cake was the most important part of the party? Well, this was almost a disaster, because of my poor planning.
I had made the cake the night before and had only a short time between church and when everyone was coming in which to decorate it. Imagine my dismay when I went to the pantry and found no powdered sugar! I always have powdered sugar! How could their be no powdered sugar?
My mom saved the day by remembering that she had a frosting recipe that didn’t call for powdered sugar, and that it was in the cookbook of her recipes that she had given me several years back. (So glad she was here! She did lots of the cooking, too!)
It actually made a really yummy, not-too-sweet, fluffy frosting, that when tinted pink gave the perfect traditional “birthday cake” appearance I thought would please my daughter.
For the decorations on the cake, I quickly melted some chocolate in the microwave (I used almond bark, but chocolate chips work, too), put it in a ziploc bag, cut off the tip, and piped the paw prints and her name on parchment paper. I put them in the freezer to set-up quickly, and stuck them on the cake. Easy, thematic, done!
Now, doesn’t this look like a girl who is excited about her cake?
If nothing else, these finger marks in the icing should be an indication of how she felt about it.
And after dinner, and cake, she got lots of pink presents. It is amazing how exciting socks can be for a two-year-old! So I think she had a pretty great birthday…even if it wasn’t the production I had originally envisioned, and that’s what really matters, right?
And just in case, you are ever a victim of poor planning, like I was, or just want to try something different on your next cake, I am posting my mom’s save-the-day frosting for all of you (she called it “Not-Too-Rich Frosting,” but I think I’m changing the title)! Enjoy!
MOM’S SAVE-THE-DAY FROSTING
In a sauce pan, combine and cook until thick, stirring constantly:
1 C milk
3 T flour
In a mixing bowl, cream until very fluffy.
1 C sugar
1 C butter
1 t vanilla
Slowly add to creamed mixture:
1 T milk mixture at a time, until all has been added.
Beat until smooth and fluffy.